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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : September 08, 2011

Chomp: Dramatic rise in searches for hurricane, earthquake apps

The 7.1 Canterbury, New Zealand earthquake struck just kilometers from my home last September and it was then that I learned just how useful mobile apps are for managing life in the aftermath of a natural disaster. New research from Chomp reveals the dramatic rise in search traffic for apps relating to hurricanes and earthquakes as people sought to be better informed and prepared after recent events in the US.

by Helen Leggatt

fema_downlevel_july-1.jpgMother Nature has been busy in the US over the last few weeks. Hurricane Emily threatened and Irene hit hard, and an earthquake in Virginia shook much of the East Coast.

Chomp's monthly app search data reveals how mobile users reacted to those natural disasters. They armed themselves with mobile apps that could help them track a storm's path or let them know when an earthquake had hit, and where.

The figures show:

- Hurricane app searches spiked more than 2000% during Irene's formation and 250% for Emily's advance;

- Earthquake app search traffic was up 2000% immediately after the magnitude 5.8 in Virginia.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently launched an app that gives the user different ways to prepare such as survival kit checklists and shelter locations nationwide. The app, which can be used on- or offline, also provides safety tips on what to do before, during and after a disaster including planning family meeting points.

As a survivor of a major natural disaster I can wholly recommend the use of mobile apps and, of course, social media to get you through. I also recommend the purchase of a solar or wind-up charger!

Tags: FEMA, mobile apps, natural disaster, search traffic

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